David Benavidez: It’s a showdown with Canelo Alvarez or bust

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David Benavidez’s immediate future is in the hands of Canelo Alvarez.

The way Benavidez sees it he’s the best option for the super middleweight king, who has fought every top 168-pounder except him. All the 24-year-old from Phoenix can do is wait to see whether Alvarez sees it the same way.

In the meantime, he said, he’ll continue to do what he did against Kyrone Davis on Saturday night: methodically break down and stop his opponents in brutal fashion.

“I feel like I deserve that fight,” Benavidez said at the post-fight news conference. “So until I get that fight I’m going to keep knocking down whoever they put in front of me. … If they want to do another title eliminator, that’s fine.

“I’ll do that until I get the fight with Canelo. The fans are going to keep asking for that fight.”

Benavidez, 24, has been boxing since he was in diapers. He understands as well as anyone the challenge Alvarez would present. There’s a reason many consider the Mexican star the best in the business.

At the same time, Benavidez knows what he can do in the ring. Davis isn’t the first fighter who has crumbled as a result of relentless punishment delivered by the former two-time titleholder. He’s big, strong and good.

Maybe good enough to beat the king.

“I feel like I’m a bigger guy, I’m a stronger guy, I have a lot of speed,” Benavidez said. “A lot of people say I’m a walk in the part for Canelo. But they say that about all my opponents. I don’t have defense, I don’t have nothing.

“I know when I get in the ring with a fighter it’s a completely different story. I know how strong I am, how much pressure I put on, and I know how these guys tend to break down toward the end of the fight.

“I know a fight with Canelo won’t be easy. I’m willing to give my heart and soul to get the victory. And I know I could get it done.”

And if he can’t? That’s a risk he’s willing to take.

Benavidez believes his destiny is to be recognized as a great fighter. And the only way to demonstrate that is to fight and beat another great fighter, Alvarez in this case. That’s’ one reason he wants the fight.

“Everyone I looked up to, Oscar De La Hoya, Marco Antonio Barrera, [Fernando] Vargas, [Felix] Trinidad, these dudes were 24, 25, 26 years old and fighting the best of the best. … They didn’t have to take that chance but they did. They took the leap to be great. I feel that’s what I have to do.

“Obviously this is a very hard fight with me and Canelo, the hardest fight of my career. There are no guarantees. But the work you put in is guaranteed. I’m willing to work as hard as I can to make sure I secure a victory and be in my best possible mental and physical place of my life … and be ready for it.

“Everybody can say whatever they want. They don’t put in the work I put in. I know exactly what I put in. Whenever it does happen, my motivation will be through the roof. And I’ll be the victor in the fight.”

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